Miami Hurricanes lose to Wisconsin 34-24 in Orange Bowl


Appearing in the Orange Bowl for the first team in 14 years the Miami Hurricanes lost on their home field at Hard Rock Stadium 34-24. Miami struggled for most of the last three quarters offensively after taking a 14-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Despite being outplayed the Miami Hurricanes played with much more heart and grit against Wisconsin than they showed in the regular season-ending loss to Pittsburgh and the 38-3 ACC Championship game loss to Clemson.

The Hurricanes came out strong in the first quarter. The turnover chain came out on the fourth play of the game. Wisconsin’s super freshman Jonathan Taylor fumbled at the Miami 47 after a 14-yard gain. He was originally ruled down, but the play was reversed on review. Taylor was laying on top of a Hurricanes player which meant he was not down.

The Hurricanes drove 33 yards in six plays on the subsequent drive. Senior Kicker Michael Badgley missed a 53-yard field goal. The Badgers kicked a field goal on their subsequent drive to consummate the scoring on the night and take a 3-0 lead.

A seven play 75-yard was finished off by a five-yard Travis Homer run to give Miami a 7-3 lead. Homer finished with 69 yards on 12 carries. The Hurricanes ran for 189 yards on Wisconsin’s tough defense.

After holding Wisconsin to a three and out the Miami Hurricanes went 45 yards in two plays on DeeJay Dallas runs out of the Wildcat. Dallas ran 39 yards for a touchdown to send the partisan Hard Rock Stadium crowd into a frenzy. The Hurricanes appeared to be well on their way.

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  • After the Hurricanes defense forced Wisconsin to punt after a five-play drive, a Malik Rosier interception to begin the second quarter turned the game around. The Badgers took over on the Miami 23-yard line.

    On third and seven from the Miami 20, Alex Hornibrook hit Danny Davis for a touchdown to cut the Miami lead to 14-10. That was the first of three Hornibrook touchdown passes in the second quarter and four for the game. Hornibrook finished 23-34 for 258 yards four touchdowns and no interceptions and won the Orange Bowl MVP.

    Davis finished with five receptions for 56 yards and three touchdowns. A.J. Taylor led Wisconsin with eight receptions for 105 yards and Hornibrook’s other touchdown.

    Hornibrook had entered the game with 15 interceptions this season. He was incredibly accurate against the Miami Hurricanes, particularly on third down. The Badgers finished seven for 15 on third down, while Miami was just two for 10. Third downs were a struggle all year for Miami on both sides of the ball.

    Miami entered the Orange Bowl game 124th in the country on offense on third downs at 29.4 percent. They were worse than that against Wisconsin. With the talent they have offensively that’s inexcusable. Even before the injuries to Mark Walton, Ahmmon Richards and Chris Herndon the Hurricanes struggled on third down.

    Miami’s defense entered the Orange Bowl 71st in the country in third-down defense. Miami allowed teams to convert 39 percent of their third downs through the ACC Championship.

    Miami ends the season on a three-game losing streak after beginning the season with ten straight wins. They were able to build towards the 2017 season by finishing 2016 with five straight wins including a bowl victory. Now the Hurricanes go into the offseason with negative momentum.

    There is a lot to be positive about this season. Rosier, for the most part, played better than excepted.

    Next: Malik Rosier sets Miami Hurricanes touchdown record

    If Miami is going to truly be a contender for the College Football Playoff in 2018 they are going to need more consistency and accuracy from the Quarterback position. Rosier is going to have to be more accurate next season or lose his position to redshirt Freshman N’Kosi Perry or Freshman Jarren Williams.